The first 737 MAX takes off from Renton – Photo: Chu-Yi Chuang
Yesterday, the Boeing 737 MAX successfully completed its first flight — and landing. It took off at 9:46 am (PST) to the cheers of several thousand Boeing employees and media. Wait… wasn’t that earlier than planned — it sure was!
I often poke fun of “Boeing time,” which refers to them often being late for test flights. I might not be able to use the term anymore. We will see. Either way, I was quite impressed that they took off early, but they also had some motivation — the weather.
The first Boeing 737 MAX after landing at Boeing Field
The weather reports for the day did not look great. In the morning, it was overcast and raining. Boeing wanted to complete its almost three-hour test flight, and land at Boeing Field (BFI) before things got worse. It all worked out. It doesn’t mean I kept dry, but it was well worth it!
The 737 MAX taking off for its first flight
BOEING 737 MAX FIRST FLIGHT: Follow us live
Earlier today, theÂ Boeing 737 MAXÂ successfully completed its first flight.Â We have been doingÂ things a bit differently and sharingÂ our live coverage of the flight here. Later, we will update our story with photos and more information. Think of this as more of an evolving story, and don’t forget to come back for more!
Several thousand Boeing employees and media braved the rain to witness the first flight of the 737 MAX
The 737 MAX took off onÂ its first flight at 9:46 am (PST) to the cheers of several thousand of Boeing employees and media. The plane flew for nearly three hours, before landing a few miles away atÂ Boeing Field (BFI) at about 12:32Â pm. You can watch a live feed from Boeing and we will continue to cover the eventÂ live on our Twitter feed below:
Up, up, and away! The 737 MAX leaves the ground on its maiden flight. We’ll catch up with it soon at Boeing Field.
The past and future meetÂ – theÂ old 737 livery on the stairs and theÂ the MAX’s new livery on the jet
This week, Boeing took the time to not only show off their improved production line for the 737 MAX, but also the first (and second) aircraft. Over two days, AirlineReporter visited Boeing’sÂ 737’s factory in Renton, Wa to learn more about the 737 MAX and how Boeing will goÂ about producing them.
The MAX is the fourth generation of the venerable 737 and will replace the 737 Next Generation (or 737 NG). The first 737 first flew in April 1967 and, although it might have the same name and aÂ similar appearance, the aircraft has changed dramatically over the years.
The MAX will come in three main flavors: the MAX 7, MAX 8, and (wait for it) MAX 9. I have to say thatÂ it’s a bit weird to have the “MAX” [aka maximum] with a 7, but then also an 8 and 9? Oh well.
Boeing’s new Advanced Technology winglets are a distinctive feature of the 737 MAX.
The number of passengers in each respective version of the aircraft will be similar to the 737 NGs. The MAX 7 will carryÂ 126 to 149 passengers, the MAX 8 will carry 162 to 200 (with the MAX 200 for Ryanair), and the MAX 9 will have 180 to 220.Â These changes are taking the 737 frame, technology, and cost savings… well… to the MAX!
The new delivery center building has three gates and enough interior space to accommodate three simultaneous aircraft deliveries. The 737-900ER shown parked at the gate was delivered to United Airlines on Oct. 19.
Boeing opened its new Seattle delivery center for its booming 737 program onÂ October 19 at King County International Airport, a.k.a.Â Boeing Field.
The 90,000 sq. ft. building is more than twice the size of the previous facility, whichÂ was located on the same site. It took 15 months to demolish the old structure, build the new one, and renovate some of the adjoining office spaces. According to Boeing officials, the new facility was needed to better accommodate the ever-increasing production rates for theirÂ 737 line. The current production rate for 737s is 42 per month, and planned rate increases will take that number to 52 per month inÂ 2018.
The main departure lounge at the new delivery center offers good views of the flight line.
I recently had the opportunity, on behalf of AirlineReporter, to check out the new facility and I was excited to see what an airline’s representatives experience when picking up their $85 million jet.